MTPR

Flathead National Forest

July Fire file photo courtesy of InciWeb
InciWeb

Update: 6:30 p.m. 07/10/17

Tribal officials have increased the fire danger to “Extreme” on the west side of the Flathead Indian Reservation and “Very High” on the east side.

Fire managers for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes write in a press release that fine, dead fuels are drying out across the reservation. They add human behavior, such as tossing cigarette butts onto dry grass, leaving campfires unattended, lighting fireworks, burning debris and driving through dry grasses, has caused multiple grass fires across the Northern Rockies over the past week.

Roundup Of Fire Warnings, Restrictions

Jul 7, 2017
Firefighters near Zortman on July 5
InciWeb

Fire danger in northwest Montana forests has been moved to “high” ahead of a weekend forecasted to be hot and dry.

Managers on the Flathead and Kootenai National Forests are anticipating higher risk for fire starts as temperatures continue into the 90s and dead brush dries out. The “high” fire danger designation means fires can start easily from most causes.

Several hundred friends, family and Forest Service personnel attended the funeral of a man killed after surprising a bear on June 29.
Nicky Ouellet

A new report details the final moments of a career Flathead National Forest law enforcement officer killed last summer after a chance encounter with a grizzly bear.

People in Swan Lake heard a proposal to transfer management of some National Forest land to the state in a question-and-answer session Dec. 7, 2016, in Swan Lake, MT.
Nicky Ouellet

The public comment period on a proposal to transfer management of National Forest land to local control has been extended. The Swan Forest Initiative would transfer management of 60,000 acres of the Flathead National Forest to the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation for the next 100 years.

Ten thousand square miles. That’s roughly how much public land in Montana the US Forest Service is making new plans for at the moment.

Three National Forests, the Flathead, the Helena-Lewis and Clark and the Custer-Gallatin are all writing the basic governing documents that lay out what can and can’t happen, and where, in their vast territories. In January the Helena-Lewis and Clark is holding a series of public input meetings on their new forest plan.

All this new planning is happening under new forest planning rules. University of Montana Professor of Natural Resource Policy Martin Nie is on a national advisory committee about those rules. 

Swan Lake Ranger Station.
Eric Whitney

On Wednesday night, 75 people crowded into the Swan Lake Club House to hear a first of its kind in Montana proposal that would transfer management of some National Forest land to the state.

Wilderness advocates say they’re “really excited” at the number of public comments supporting wilderness and wildlife habitat in Flathead National Forest.

At a campground in northwestern Montana, 30 people are groggily gearing up for a day of mushroom picking.

Most are here because they want an excuse to get outside and taste some of Montana's more exotic wild mushrooms. But others, like Matt Zaitz from Kansas, are here to turn a profit.

"It's not easy work," Zaitz says. "It's tough."

Weyerhaeuser closed its lumber and plywood mills in Columbia Falls last week.
Eric Whitney

A job at the lumber mills in Columbia Falls was supposed to be the kind of job you’d have forever. But forever came to an end last Friday, when the Weyerhaeuser Company sawed its last logs at its lumber and plywood mills in the industrial heart of the Flathead Valley. The mills had been open since the late 1940s.

flickr user chb1848 (CC-BY-SA)

Quick thinking by a trio of hikers in the Flathead National Forest may have prevented a forest fire.

Pages